After 25 mins of true grit and determination, Kamaru Usman proved to the world that he is here to stay by defending his title in dominant fashion against Jorge Masvidal, holder of the BMF belt. Though the fight went the way that it, with Kamaru imposing his will for at least 4 out of 5 rounds, we all know that this is not the last we've seen of "Gamebred." So the question becomes, what is next, or who is next for Jorge Masvidal?
Jorge Masvidal's MMA Journey & Success
Jorge Masvidal is not new to this game by any means, beginning his MMA journey as a backyard fighter with the likes of Kimbo Slice, and now amassing a professional record of 35-14-0, with nearly 20 of those fights being in the UFC. Starting in the Lightweight division at 145, and later moving up to the Welterweight division at 155, "Gamebred" has been working his way through some of the toughest athletes in the sport.
Last year alone, Masvidal took out 3 of the top fighters in the Welterweight division. He KO'd Darren Till, broke the UFC record for the fastest knockout when he dropped Ben Askren with a flying knee at the start of the bout, and then he capped off the year by winning the BMF belt with a win by decision over the legend Nate Diaz.
His four-fight win streak, which also included Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone, plus his almost branded approach to the "resurrection" - his quest to become a new version of himself - has put a big spotlight on him over the last year or so. This, paired with his no-nonsense attitude and a huge chip on his shoulder, has also placed a big target on his back with other fighters - including Kamaru Usman.
The reality is, regardless of how he is perceived by other fighters or by fans, there is no denying that Jorge is one of the more dangerous athletes in the division, and he shows no signs of slowing down. Despite his loss to Kamaru Usman, who found the key to victory was to pressure Jorge against the cage, we all immediately ask, ourselves - who's next for 'Gamebred'?
Who's Next for Jorge Masvidal?
Despite the animosity between Kamaru and Jorge, both men shook hands at the end of the fight and seemingly engaged in a verbal agreement to run the fight back after Jorge got another victory under his belt. So, the question becomes, who will Jorge Masvidal fight next?
The UFC Welterweight division (155lbs) is absolutely stacked, and arguably one of the toughest divisions in the game. With names such as Colby Convington, Leon Edwards, Tyron Woodley, and Gilbert Burns at the top of the rankings, it's really up in the air as to who would be the next best opponent for Jorge.
If you recall in the past, Jorge Masvidal and Leon Edwards had a bit of a scuffle with Leon Edwards backstage after a fight a little more than a year ago, so there is some air that needs to be cleared there. However, it seems that Leon himself has his eyes set on taking the belt from Kamaru.
A match up with Colby Covington would undoubtedly bring in a large "virtual crowd" given that both of these athletes are known for speaking their minds about other fighters and stirring up the pot. In fact, Colby made a statement saying that Jorge was "exposed" in his loss to Usman, and is quoted saying "Masvidal is all hype." Colby hasn't stepped foot in the Octagon since December of last year, but is looking to make his way back up to rematch Kamaru, though it seems he is in talks with Tyron Woodley for a potential match up if Tyron would take the fight on relatively short notice.
And then, of course, we have Gilbert Burns who was next in line to fight for the belt, but fell ill with COVID-19 in the week leading up to the fight. Some would say, including us here at the The Ginger and The Beard, that Burns was given the fight a little prematurely after his dominant performance over Tyron Woodley. Woodley hasn't been putting on much of a display in his last few fights, so it wasn't much of a surprise when Gilbert took that fight the way he did.
Jorge has said that he is looking an immediate rematch with Kamaru, so we all know that is the fight that he is actually looking for. However, Dana White has stated that "Gilbert is next" for the title fight, and that Jorge will not get that fight right away. In my opinion, Gilbert Burns should have to prove himself with another fight before he gets a shot at the bet, and a match up with Jorge would be a great proving opportunity.
But, in reality, since Dana has said that fight isn't going to happen, I would like to see a match up with Colby Covington or Leon Edwards take place.
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